Thursday, April 2, 2009

Behind the Lens...

It's a little bit funny.

I was looking through photos the other day, and I was astounded by the number of photos I had taken of myself in a "Myspace" sort of way: extended arm, no smile, cute know the drill. And I thought to myself, "When did I become this person?"

And then I realized something. They are the only photos of me I have. Where are the photos of me with my friends? Where are the shots taken on vacation of me in front of the Grand Canyon or me hanging out the window of a car? I have tons of photos like these:

The MySpace shot, and...

The mirror shot.

And tons of photos like these:

Photos where my whole family (sister, stepdad, mom, brother, sister-in-law) went to do something, and I am mysteriously absent, and... like these where we did something amazing and odd in college (like play music in the elevator for three hours, making up songs the whole time) and I am not recorded.

And I realized that I am missing out, being the one behind the lens the whole time. I am strikingly absent from all of the records of my favorite memories. When I am old, no one will believe I ever had any part of this kind of thing. They'll just think I sat around and took photos of myself during a particularly good hair day while everyone else traipsed around Millennium Park and sang for strangers in the elevator.

Is there a fix for this, short of giving my camera full of memories to a perfect stranger and chancing theft? Not that I have found.

And will this change? Most likely, not.

Why is that? Because I love taking photos, hunting for those moments when a friend smiles their true smile or something crazy and unbelievable happens just as the shutter opens. It's the magic of the moment, the laughs and jokes captured right there to revisit, in case I never have another one. It's storing away little capsules full of happiness with my friends and family.

And really, if I wanted to look at myself, I could just look in a mirror...or visit MySpace.



Emily said...

I have also been looking through pictures (our adoption agency wants 70-80 for our profiles) and there are a lot of other people and a lot of husband by himself and then a lot of self portraits of me. Luckily, other people have answered my cries for help and provided me with pictures of me.

Future Solution: Timer and a tripod. I actually have a little table top tripod that I <3.

PS - I love that you sang in the elevator. Someone should have video'd that.

Linda Pendleton said...

I know what you mean Justin, as I was and am always the one with the camera, and miss out on being in many photos throughout the years. But then, again, as you said, it may be more interesting behind the camera lens.

Sina Grace said...

I would suggest Sears family photo shoots (I tried leaving a comment earlier, but I don't know if it went through).

You get to use props, and the entire group is in the shot.

Some ghetto malls offer those insane photos where chola girls go and stand around a fake pillar in matching outfits, while the photographer waxes the lens with as much petroleum as possible. I LOVE those.


Viewtiful_Justin said...

@ Emily - I thought about the tripod for a while, but that entails carting it around and getting all my friends to stand still for two seconds. In my group? Ha!

@ Linda - I think it IS more exciting, honestly. I get to relive the memories and have people come to me for photos, which I like.

@ Sina - You make me laugh. I think we had one of those ghetto malls in the town where I went to school. Lovely.

Melissa Blake said...

YES! My entire photo album on Facebook is filled with pics like that. But I think they're cool nonetheless. I love the mirror shot of you, btw!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Hey, thanks!